Fox Footy and ABC commentator Kelli Underwood says she “felt sick in the stomach” when she heard Tom Morris’s comments about her colleague.
- Kelli Underwood called on men within the sport media industry to drive cultural change
- Underwood said her female colleagues have banded together in recent days
- Fox Sports sacked Tom Morris on Friday after an investigation into his leaked comments
Morris was sacked by Fox on Friday after an investigation into the leaked recording in which he made misogynistic comments about a Fox Sports reporter.
Speaking to ABC Sport ahead of Friday night’s AFL game between St Kilda and Collingwood said the incident was yet another reminder of the challenges facing women in sports media.
“It’s emotional for me to talk about because it really hits home,” Underwood said.
“I felt sick in my stomach when I heard it. It is so disappointing.
“Everyone talks the talk publicly, don’t they? ‘We’re talking about diversity, we’re talking about how important women are’.
“And then to know that when you leave the room, some still live in the dark ages, that hurts.”
Underwood said the onus was now on men to stand up to this behaviour and lead the charge for change.
“We as women and as leaders in this industry, we can scream from the rooftops and get accused of sticking up for your mates or whinging,” she said.
“I’ve got to say I’m proud of my employer tonight. I’m really proud of what they’ve done. It makes me proud to work for them. But where are the male voices here?”
Underwood said she spoke to the female Fox Sports reporter named in the audio recording, who is currently on assignment and “surrounded by some strong female colleagues”.
“Which is good because she needs it at the moment,” she said.
Underwood has long been a leader among female commentators, and spoke of the “spirit among the sisters” who work in the industry.
“My phone has been running hot for the last 24 hours. I guess a lot of Fox female colleagues have been checking in on each other and checking in on each other’s welfare, which is a great thing,” she said.
“I don’t think any of us ever want to be the only woman in the room.
“I had two great moments on Friday morning. I had an email from Lauren Bordin who sent me this email so excited, saying she had just won a full-time job in the Grandstand AFL sports department in Melbourne.
“And then Julia Montesano won a worldwide competition to call at the Women’s Basketball World Cup in September.
“You’re so proud when you hear this, because it’s so hard to get a foot in the door and get that start.”
Source: AFL NEWS ABC